(December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895)

Despite lacking a medical license or any training in medicine and surgery, Louis Pasteur revolutionized medicine in a way that no one envisaged. The sterilization method he devised, known as pasteurization, saved uncountable lives by reducing infections in an era when antibiotics were unknown. It also helped to prolong the shelf-lives of perishable foods (such as milk and beverages). This same pasteurization, alongside John Tyndall’s tyndallization, helped debunk the age-long myths surrounding the Theory of Spontaneous Generation. Although his famous accomplishments were in the fields of microbiology and medicine, Louis Pasteur was actually a chemist, who held professorial chairs at both the Strasbourg and Lille universities (in France). His works on Molecular Asymmetry enabled scientists understand the optical and crystallographic nature of various organic salts. His determination to explore beyond the boundaries of chemistry brought occasional criticisms from clinicians who were confounded by his daring vaccination experiments. He conceded by working alongside doctors, who oversaw that his procedures adhered to their norms and standards. Undeterred, Pasteur pioneered the developments of both rabies and anthrax vaccines. His versatility manifested on how easily he navigated between physical and biological sciences. But his clinical revolutions did overshadow his lofty contributions to chemistry, physics and geology. For instance, few knew that he was the first to accurately explain the concepts of isomerism and molecular chirality. In addition to publishing various works and winning many awards, he mentored numerous students while serving as the Director of Scientific Studies at École Normale Supérieure Paris.


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